Crimson Empire III wraps up this week. Will Kir Kanos come out on top or go down fighting?
Mike Richardson and Randy Stradley bring the story of the last loyal Imperial guardsman to a dramatic ending in Star Wars: Crimson Empire – Empire Lost #6. Hardliner Devian has emerged to spring his trap – by sabotaging Pellaeon’s attempts at a peace conference, he’s pushed the Empire into another fight against the New Republic, and leaves the Imperial capital on Orinda open to Devian’s fleet.
With Devian’s stormtroopers taking the planet, Admiral Pellaeon is forced to surrender, but the old warrior won’t go easily. Pellaeon’s got some extra allies, and one of them has a surprise for Devian. And in the end, it comes down to the fight we knew would happen: Devian and Kir Kanos. What will Mirith Sinn have to report to the New Republic when all is said and done?
Dave Dorman’s cover art hints at the resolution of the story, which we’ve seen clues for throughout the series. I’m still not quite sure of some of the interior art by Paul Gulacy – while Kanos, Sinn, Devian and Pellaeon come out well, Leia Organa and Han Solo come out a little hit or miss. The action sequences are well portrayed, with the final duel between Palpatine’s best and Vader’s student giving a great sense of how the fight plays out. The firefight between all the Empire’s forces has a great hero shot of Sinn and Kanos side by side, taking on enemy stormtroopers.
Looking at the story as a whole, I’m really not sure why Han Solo as a fleet commander was really necessary to the story, other than to have a little side plot and some cameos by movie characters like him and Chewbacca and Ackbar. I think those pages might have been better spent on more Kir Kanos and Mirith Sinn and the core of their problem. Those expecting a big space battle in this issue won’t get a lot of visuals, as the action on Orinda hits the ground really fast. But the action dirtside is smooth and really gets the focus on the key players.
Some of my earlier criticism when reviewing this series about focusing on too many characters (and cameos) manages to get resolved here – While Luke, Han, and Leia all appear, their roles are not as important as Devian and the Crimson Empire main characters. Overall, a good ending to the story as most of the story centers on the action: Devian’s attempt to retake the Empire for himself, and those who would stand in his way. Some good dialogue here in Richardson’s script reminds us how Palpatine and Vader were different… and the winner is a line about Darth Vader’s first rule of combat. And in the end, there is some great symbolism of ship last seen in the Empire Lost. A good ending to an enjoyable story.